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Brett's Backyard Barbecue....Rockdale TX
It'd be a full day "round tripper" like you said....but take a day for it sometime...!!!
449 W Cameron Ave, Rockdale, TX 76567
[advisory]....get there at 11:00 or even a bit earlier...!!!
 
Gosh, if you are going to travel that far, you might as well roll into Red Wagon BBQ on the Homestead Heritage campus up in Elm Mott. They have home grown organic beef, home made bread, garden grown veggies, etc, etc. They also use Rotella T6 oil, Motoz tires, and run Gaia on their iPhones!;-)
 
Check out Brothertons Black Iron BBQ in Pflugerville. Grilled cheese brisket sandwich is really good.

It's also worth a trip to Loiue Miller BBQ in Taylor for some Beef Ribs and visit the Texas Beer Company down the street
 
Backwoods bbque
tivydale rd
fredericksburg.
pioneer bbque
nixon
been a while but
kreutzs, and smittys in lockhart
 
Blacks on Barton Springs, brisket is 95% of what franklin's has. Kruez, meh. Smitty's, good. City Market in Luling. Brotherton's in pflugerville, Stiles Switch, La Barbecue, Valentina's
 
Probably wouldn't make your top 5 list, but I always liked Coopers in Llano - it's been on Texas Monthly's Top 50 list every year since 1997
 
Here are my favorites

Old 300 in Blanco
Hays County BBQ in San Marcos
Stiles Switch in Austin
Iron Works In Austin
Burnt Bean in Seguin
 
https://m.facebook.com/209494859068701/.

This place is always packed. My son is the manager of the meat market . It's on Broadway right across from the Witte Museum . This is the owner with Guy Fieri .
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Can't see the secret location behind that facebook link ;)

Coopers is controversial - lots folks give it a 👎 (me included). Stiles Switch is quite decent. Not Franklin / Snows level (nothing else matches those) but good. I've not tried Black's in Austin, but the Lockhart location is good - Smitty's is my Lockhart fav.

My finding is:
If the restaurant is open "normal" hours, the BBQ isn't great. Open when ready, closed when sold out - that's how you can tell the BBQ is other-worldly good. It just takes too long and too hard to time to have perfectly prepped brisket ready from late morning thru 8pm or later. By this test: GREAT really means great - and that's Franklin and Snows - there are likely others, I just don't know 'em. Many other places have VERY GOOD brisket, just not great.
 
Whenever I am in the area I like to go to Luling City Market.

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Can't see the secret location behind that facebook link ;)

Coopers is controversial - lots folks give it a 👎 (me included). Stiles Switch is quite decent. Not Franklin / Snows level (nothing else matches those) but good. I've not tried Black's in Austin, but the Lockhart location is good - Smitty's is my Lockhart fav.

My finding is:
If the restaurant is open "normal" hours, the BBQ isn't great. Open when ready, closed when sold out - that's how you can tell the BBQ is other-worldly good. It just takes too long and too hard to time to have perfectly prepped brisket ready from late morning thru 8pm or later. By this test: GREAT really means great - and that's Franklin and Snows - there are likely others, I just don't know 'em. Many other places have VERY GOOD brisket, just not great.
Just my opinion, but after riding 3 or 4 hours to get there, going to a limited hours-stand in line great place, to have them run out of meat before I get to order, is not for me - no matter how good or great they are, I'm okay with good BBQ places that I know will be open & have meat available when I get there. Like I said earlier, Coopers probably won't make anybody's top 5, but I've never had a bad meal there.
 
There are many small places all over the hill country that have great BBQ. BBQ is impossible to have perfection with every plate for anyone. Anyone! The best brisket I ever ate was at in the back of a little Texaco/convenience store at the edge of Boerne way back in the 70s on the way to Big Bend one year. Indoor pit way back in the corner, awesome. There are many more just like this, just the luck of the draw.
 
...BBQ is impossible to have perfection with every plate for anyone. Anyone! ...
Ya know, this is a really good point. I think this is why you ask 20 people for their opinion on BBQ and you get 45 answers. I try not to rate (or recommend) any BBQ joint until I have visited it at least 3 times.
 
Yep, I have raved about Snows for years finally took the wife this weekend. It was normally a bike ride destination with the guys

Brisket quality was honestly about Rudys brisket level not bad but not worth the drive this trip especially when there others that seem more consistent closer to home. But we had a nice drive, spent some quality time together toured the old brewery remains in LaGrange so all in all a great saturday outing
 
Yep, I have raved about Snows for years finally took the wife this weekend. It was normally a bike ride destination with the guys

Brisket quality was honestly about Rudys brisket level not bad but not worth the drive this trip especially when there others that seem more consistent closer to home. But we had a nice drive, spent some quality time together toured the old brewery remains in LaGrange so all in all a great saturday outing

I've been to Snow's once and feel the same. It was good. It's just that I can get nearly as good at Rudy's for a lot less driving. Snow's is still a nice day trip for the sake of it though!
 
WOW - that's really disappointing to hear. Was Tootsie still working the smoker?
 
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